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This is an email correspondence course based on online study sessions and prescribed texts.

In this component you will study Virgil's Aeneid. The study of the Aeneid will be in English translation.

There is no pre-requisite if you are taking this course for pleasure or your own purposes.

If you wish to eventually sit the A Level Classical Civilisation exams, then the pre-requisite for this course is the AS Class Civ The World of the Hero component course.

While one may study a single component over a school year, please note that to obtain the A Level in Classical Civilisation one must complete the two components of the AS Class Civ course, and the two components of the A Level (second part) Class Civ course, and sit the A Level CC examinations at the end of the two years.

If you would like to enrol for the course, please click on the Cost tab to make your payment and then on the Enrol tab, where you will see a link to an online registration form.

The World of the Hero (H408/11)

This component provides learners with the opportunity to appreciate Virgil's Aeneid, a conerstone and landmark in Western literature. Drawing inspiration from Homer, as well as from his own cultural and political context, Virgil explored what it was to be a hero in the Roman world and created a work which has proven enduringly popular. Topics studied will be literary technique and composition, such as structure and plot of the epic, language of the epic, and Homeric influence; the heroic world: its characterisation and themes, such as the role of Aeneas in Rome's Imperial destiny, the portrayal of war and of different nations --Trojans, Greeks, Carthaginians, Italians; the historical and political background --the Augustan context in which the Aeneid was produced, Virgil's relation to Augustus and his regime, and the promotion of the Roman empire.



Your e-tutor will always be an experienced, enthusiastic Latin teacher, who knows the course well and is familiar with ways to help you with any issues which may arise during the course. He or she is unlikely to be involved in this project for the money! Rather your tutor will want to help you get the most out of your study of Latin and the Roman world.

When you enrol for the course, we will send you, by post, amongst other materials, an Independent Learner's Guide, detailing what work to undertake in each session. For examination courses (Eduqas, AS/A Level), sessions are held online. Almost all sessions have a designated assignment to send to your e-tutor. Your e-tutor will mark your work and return it to you, with ideas on how you might improve and, like any tutor, will try to explain an idea or concept to you if you are not certain about it. You do not have to send work if you do not wish to do so, of course, but we strongly recommend that you do, as this will both inform you of how you are progressing, and help your e-tutor to assist you in your learning.

Most of our e-tutors tell us that they would like to be contacted by their students more frequently, rather than less, and no limit is placed on the amount of times you may contact your e-tutor.
All e-tutors have completed a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure and are competent in sending, receiving and marking work electronically. Should you have any concerns about your e-tutor at any stage, you can contact our office at any time.

As per our AS CC Independent Learner course: 

'The World of the Hero': Homer's Odyssey

The World of the Hero, ed. Sally Knights, Bloomsbury Academic, 2017. ISBN: 9781350015074. (May be purchased from

While the study sessions provide a link to an electronic translation by AS Kline, we strongly suggest you purchase: Virgil, The Aeneid, by D. West, Penguin, 2003. ISBN: 9780140449327 (Ebook option here

OCR will use both translations on the examination paper.

The following files are available to download to assist with your course.

*** Only students enrolled on the course and the course tutors can access downloadable course materials ***


There are 20 sessions per component. The advised study time is 2 hours per session. The total study time is therefore in the region of 40 hours.

Please note that we are advising prospective Independent Learners to read the Aeneid before starting the course. This will allow the IL to then focus on the study session itself, without having to 'catch up' while doing the session.

A Level is a UK public examination and students should ensure that they have access to an examination centre which offers this exam before they enrol on the course.

School students are advised to approach their school's Exams Officer and ask that their school enters them for the examination.

Mature or homeschool students may either approach local schools or contact us for assistance finding an examination centre. We may be able to help you by providing you with the name of an examination centre.

If you cannot find a school that is willing to enter you for your exams then a company like Tutors and Exams may be an option. Tutors and Exams provides examination and assessment facilities primarily aimed at private and home educated candidates. They currently have five examination centres located around the country: Bolton, Coventry, Doncaster, St Neots Cambridgeshire and Wimbledon. Please note that there is a charge for their services, although CSCP Distance Learners are eligible for the reduced "Partner" rate.

In all cases, firm arrangements should be made in the Autumn Term before the exam. While CSCP takes responsibility for tutoring students for the exams, we are not ourselves an examination centre and are unable to enter students for exams.

Overall examination code: H408

The World of the Hero (H408/11)

  • one of Homer's Illiad or Odyssey 
  • and Virgil's Aeneid

This is a written paper with a total of 100 marks and is 40% of the total A Level grade. The time for the exam is 2 hours and 20 minutes. 
Our AS IL course prepared you for Homer's Odyssey Our IL A Level (second part) course prepares you for Virgil's Aeneid.

The exam consists of three sections.

Section A focuses solely on Homer and will contain two sets of questions; one on the Illiad and one on the OdysseyYou will answer the questions on the Odyssey.
Section B focuses solely on Virgil's Aeneid.
Section C contains a stimulus question in which you will draw on both a passage from Homer's the Illiad or Odyssey (you will select the Odyssey) and one from Virgil, and a choice of essays. In these essays you are expected to make use of secondary sources and academic views to support your argument. 


Please note that for an A Level Classical Civilisation qualification, you will also need to sit the exams for Group 2 'Greek Theatre' (or any other Group 2 component you might have studied) and Group 3 'Politics of the Late Republic'.

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